Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Getting Away

So I decided to do Finslippy's "The Practice of Writing." The tenth prompt is about just writing. I’ve not been good about keeping up a daily practice, but I’m trying. She suggests we just start anywhere and not worry about structure, or what the ultimate story or themes will be. Just write and work on putting it together later. For this prompt, she gave us a sentence from The Trick of It by Michael Frayn, and told us to "transcribe the sentence, then continue the story. Just write what you imagine comes next. Don't over-think this."

I was carrying a wire basket with the papers and a loaf of bread and a box of eggs and a large pack of toilet rolls, and I opened my mouth to say something to her, I can’t remember what – I think something slightly impatient about her slowness – and somehow the words changed in my mouth.

"Let’s go to Ottawa," I said, surprising even myself.

She snorted and raised an eyebrow. "Ottawa? What’s in Ottawa?"

"I don’t know. It just sounds exotic. I’ve never been there. We should leave the country more often. I hear it changes your perspective."

"Does your perspective need changing?" She was still behind me. Now she stopped altogether.

"I don’t know," I said. My fingertips were turning numb. I tried to shift the basket to my other hand, but it was awkward. "Maybe." Why couldn’t she carry the toilet paper?

She started walking again, still maddeningly slow. "I just think 'Ottawa' was a strange thing to say. I don’t even know where that is. North? South? East? West? My grasp of Canadian geography is pretty fuzzy." She was quiet for a moment, then: "Is that one of the ones where weed is legal?"

"I don’t know. No. I think that’s Montreal. Look it doesn’t have to be Ottawa, it just popped into my mind. It could be anywhere. What about Vegas?"

"That’s not leaving the country," she said, and skipped lightly ahead three steps to catch up. She took the basket from my hand and stretched up to kiss my neck. "Ottawa’s fine," she said. "Ottawa’s perfect."

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